The Saints go Tight End for only the second time in the Sean Payton era. Last time it was Jimmy Graham in the third round, this time Alize Mack in the 7th. Mack is a 6’4″ 249 pound TE out of Notre Dame. He compiled only 68 career catches for 716 yards and 4 touchdowns with the Fighting Irish, but was very under-utilized and has yet to realize his full potential. A very athletic prospect with a lot of promising signs for quick development with the right system in place around him. Now he gets to develop behind Jared Cook and Dan Campbell while working with Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and the rest of that explosive offense. Mack will fit right in as someone who can compete with Dan Arnold and Garrett Giffin for the third Tight End position behind Cook and Josh Hill.
Not being much of a blocker doesn’t bother me because he’ll have time to refine that part of his game. If he can continue to develop his pass-catching skills first and foremost, he’ll be fine. He plays both in-line and from the slot where he caught 15 passes for 140 yards. That catch number from the slot made him 8th best in his class according to Pro Football Focus. Drops were a concern his Junior year, but he cleaned that up well his final season with only 3 drops on 39 catchable targets.
Mack should be able to improve his route running ability and develop into a mismatch player with the speed to lose linebackers and the control to crisp up his breaks. He already provides some YAC ability, now it’s just about coaching him up to the next level. This is a great get for the Saints in the 7th round considering he was widely considered a 4th-6th round prospect. His 4.7 speed, 36″ vertical, and 120″ broad jump should be enough to excite you about Mack’s potential.
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